All parents try to do their best but the best of intentions don't always produce the best results. What we parents need are basic principles that bring us and our children closer. The key to positive discipline is not punishment and rewards which are external motivators but instead what’s needed are tools for internal motivation. Parents and teachers need to be both kind and firm so that any child from a two year old toddler to a rebellious teenager can learn cooperation and self discipline. Positive discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.
Jane Nelsen gives the following five criteria for effective discipline that teaches: it helps children to feel a sense of connection, is mutually respectful and encouraging, is effective long term, it teaches important social and life skills and invites children to discover how capable they are. The tools and concepts of positive discipline include mutual respect, identifying the belief behind the behavior, effective communication and problem solving skills, discipline that teaches, focusing on solutions instead of punishment and encouragement. Threats and rewards may seem to change a student's behavior but do they last once the punishment and rewards are gone. Discipline with dignity teaches educators to create positive motivators for kids so they take responsibility for their own behavior.
The tools or concepts for positive discipline can be used in many arenas at home with pets, with children of different age groups and with other family members or at work with employees and co-workers. We need to notice effort and improvement, not just success in order to build long term self esteem and empowerment. Positive discipline is taught to schools, parents, and parent educators by trained Certified Positive Discipline Associates. Community members, parents, and teachers are encouraged to become trained facilitators and to share the concepts of positive discipline with their own groups.